Monday, 17 September 2012

No orchid flowers but ...

... lotsa other interesting things.  The impetus for this stroll around our tank paddock was to see if any of the mini greenhoods had decided to thrust a flower forth.

Before I got there I passed our lowest dam where I noticed a very good supply of water striders.  I had misplaced my Field Guide to Insects so the Latin was slightly delayed and even the vernacular was initially RONG.  (I called them waterboatmen , who lurk beneath the surface rather than striding across it.)  They are in the family Gerridae and it has proved rather difficult to get images of the 29 Australian species in this family.  They look rather like Tenagogerris euphrosyne, illustrated in A Field Guide to Insects in Australia.  In this first image each insect has been circled.  The patch of water is about 1.5m square
I then got the zoom working for a close up of what I thought was one insect showing the interesting patterning.  I speculated on the problem of keeping six legs organised against the surface tension of the water.  Then I looked at it on the computer screen - it features 12 legs!  I haven't been able to sort them all out so am going on faith a bit there.
In the corner of the dam, the pollen from nearby Acacia dealbata is forming a coating on antrhing non-motile.
 This has me slightly puzzled in that I thought it was a moss sporangium However it looks very like a flower!  Suggestions welcome at any  level of taxonomy more detailed than Kingdom (which I will take a punt on being Plantae).
 This is definitely moss sporangium.
While the mini-greenhoods are showing no signs of appearance I am reasonably sure these are buds of Glossodia major, which promises colourful times ahead.
 I thought I would turn over a few rocks to see what was underneath.  I believe this to be a Pobblebonk (Lymnodynastes dumerilii), although it was neither 'pobbling' nor, unlike the water striders, bonking.
 Another rock produced a Spotted Grass Frog ( Lymnodynastes tasmaniensis).

 A cluster of Tetratheca sp is always nice to find.
Back in the vegetable garden the first flowers have appeared on our peas.  Having discovered how attractive broad bean flowers can be I thought I would check the peas out.  Also very attractive in detail when looked at closely.

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